Endeavoring to traverse every desert between Brisbane and Geraldton, Old Boy and current Churchie teacher Charles Fisher (1977) and his wife Shona have embarked on a journey across Australia. Their first stop was Roma Saleyards (the largest in the Southern Hemisphere) where they observed 4,500 store cattle being auctioned before spending the next two nights dining at the very modern Royal on Ninety-Nine, a stylish Roma pub owned by the Garvies, a Churchie family.
Next stop was Birdsville where Old Boy Kerry Morton (1997) joined them for a chat across the road from the iconic Birdsville Pub. Kerry’s family run Rosberth which is 1.2 million acres (4,000 square kilometres) and encompasses the town. The Birdsville Track and Lake Eyre were ticked off the bucket list as they made their way to Alice Springs where they were joined by their daughter Izzy and son Charlie (2016) for a visit to Uluru over the ensuing week. It also presented an opportunity to catch up with Old Boys Hamish Clark (1999) and Stuart Barrett (1999).
The Gunbarrel Highway in Western Australia was the next landmark on the journey, where harsh corrugations and washouts meant averaging 15 kilometres per hour for 400 kilometres over three days was unavoidable. Along the way, a chance meeting in a caravan park with Old Boy Bruce McLeish (1984) rekindled some more Churchie memories.
Moving on, the next stop was Kalbarri, a beautiful seaside town and separate principality within Australia known as Hutt River Province. Continuing up the coast to the white beaches of Shark Bay, with its tropical blue water and 60 kilometres of beach made up entirely of shells (no sand), revealed to Charles and Shona that it is not only extraordinary but very worthy of its World Heritage Listing by UNESCO. Another nine hours of driving up the West Australian coast to Karratha followed, which is currently home to Old Boy Tristan Bliss (1996). Tristan and Charles spent time recalling memories of the classroom and army cadets.
From Marble Bar, after attempting the Canning Stock Route, the journey continues … during which time they will be catching up with Old Boy Jock Warriner (1998) in Kununurra.
If you wish to follow the Fishers, please click here to read their blog.
Clockwise from Bottom Left: with Prince Graeme of Hutt River Province; with Kerry Morton (1997); with Hamish Clark (1999) and Stuart Barrett (1999); with Tristan Bliss (1996).
For the curious among us, Charles’ shirts come from TradeMutt, which was founded by Old Boy Ed Ross (2010) and his mate Dan Allen. The idea is part of a much greater plan to start the conversation around suicide in Australian men and came about after one of Dan’s mates took his own life. Their aim is to make tradies and workers of all kinds look and feel great at work, and in doing so, reduce the rate of male suicide in Australia. Their loud and vibrant shirts act as a catalyst to starting the conversation around mental health in men.
Please click here to purchase your TradeMutt shirt online.